The Kuching Waterfront, is the most popular gathering place in this capital city. The esplanade stretches for about 900 meter along the south bank of the Sarawak river. Dotted the length of it are food stalls, a restaurant, bistro and street food hawkers. Many colonial-era buildings seen here have since been re-purposed for modern use. They are the Chinese History Museum, Sarawak Steamship Building and Square Tower. Besides the old, there is a modern amphitheatre that showcases scheduled live entertainment.
During the daytime, the Waterfront offers excellent view of the north bank of the river. The Astana (governor’s mansion) and Fort Margherita stand out with their white exterior. The imposing State Assembly Building dominates the skyline. In addition, the Malay kampungs bring up a piece of Sarawak’s heritage that dates back to the rule of the Brooke family.
At night, the whole stretch of the esplanade comes alive. Buskers fill the air with ethnic and contemporary songs and music. To add to the vibrancy, the Darul Hana Musical fountain* comes on with its colourful display.
Darul Hana Bridge
And immediately next to this fountain, spans the Darul Hana Bridge. This S-shaped pedestrian suspension bridge opened to the public in November, 2017. The two viewing decks offer excellent 360- panaromic view of the Sarawak River. Up here, one can’t miss the Middle Eastern-inspired Floating Mosque. The mosque is a new landmark of the Kuching Waterfront. To top it all, the sunset experience is mesmerising! Persons on wheel chair will find the walkway to the bridge proper user-friendly.
*Two shows from Mondays to Thursdays at 8.30pm-8.45pm and 9.30pm-9.45pm. There are three shows from Fridays to Sundays at 8.30pm-8.45pm, 9.30pm-9.45pm and 10.30pm-10.45pm. Shows may be limited during the Muslim fasting month so do check the timing once you are here.
The Darul Hana Bridge spanning the north and south bank (Kuching Waterfront) of the Sarawak river.
Walking Tour of Kuching Waterfront
The bridge enables one to do a circular walking tour of the north bank and the Waterfront. As a result, you can cross the river either via the bridge first or in one of the charming water taxis and then do a loop back to your starting point. Locals call the water taxis ‘Penambang‘. On this side of the river, you can visit the Brooke Gallery at Fort Margherita. For orchid lovers, the DBKU Orchid Garden has a significant collection of hybrids.
As the walk may be long for some, the food court offers a welcome respite whilst enjoying vista of Kuching Vista in it’s entirety. Foodies will want to make a beeline to a kek lapis (layered cake) shop found here. The cake is a Sarawak’s signature food item. Your friends and loved ones may find this gift item…tasteful! Alternatively, buy a loaf or two to serve as energy food when you hit the trails of one of our many national parks.